Tanah Lot at Sunset

Let me tell you about Indonesian sunsets. For one thing, they are insanely, surreally, colored. And not just the same color repeated, but unpredictable shades of scarlet, magenta, purple, red, indigo, orange, ochre, umber, cerise, colors you can only imagine. I have a hypothesis explaining it: Indonesia has more active volcanoes than any comparable area on earth, even Japan. They continually pump ash and dust into the sky, usually in small amounts but sometimes in large amounts. These extremely fine suspended particles are what colors the sunsets (and sunrises as well) so intensely. That’s my story.

Tanah Lot temple on Bali occupies a small headland just off the rocky coast. At low tide you can walk out to it, and many do because it is close to Bali’s overrun tourist centers. This particular evening, I had taken a long drive to get here and was resigned to disappointment as a big thunderstorm hit. But in the best Indonesian tradition, the clouds parted at the perfect moment and the whole world, waves included, became red. Or maybe it was cerise. (Pricing Schedule F)

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